In today’s litigious society it seems as if businesses are being sued for practically everything. Product liability lawsuits are especially prevalent. Lawsuits of any kind are not only costly, but can also be damaging to a company’s reputation if they aren’t handled correctly. Business owners in Houston who are faced with such lawsuits could benefit from hiring an experienced business litigation attorney.
After just an hour of deliberations, a jury recently returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Ford Motor Company. The automaker was being sued for more than $10 million by passengers involved in an automobile accident. The driver of the vehicle, then 16, swerved to miss some construction barrels after becoming distracted. The vehicle began to veer off the road and the driver tried to correct the direction of travel but was unable to do so because of the velocity of the vehicle as well as the surrounding landscape. The vehicle slid off the road and into a deep canal. The plaintiff’s attorneys claimed that the accident could have been avoided if the vehicle had Electronic Stability Control (ESC). The defense attorneys argued that the accident was in no way caused by the lack of this safety feature and that the vehicle was not defective; rather, the accident was entirely the fault of a distracted driver. They also argued that upon purchase of the vehicle, the plaintiffs did not opt for other safety features that are required for ESC, including traction control or anti-lock brakes.
This case underscores the importance of hiring experienced attorneys to defend the quality and safety of your products. While it is sometimes tempting to settle a case out of court to avoid negative publicity, it is often in a company’s best interest to go to court and defend its reputation.
Source: Legal Newsline Legal Journal, “Jury sides with Ford in product liability case,” Jessica M. Karmasek, Oct. 15, 2013.